Contact: Kelley Quinn
CHICAGO — Gery Chico, the leading Latino candidate in the race for mayor, on Wednesday continued to show why he is the most prepared to lead Chicago — from balancing budgets and creating opportunities to generating revenue and tackling public safety.
“I’m an eternal optimist. Our city’s best days are ahead of it. My roots are in the neighborhoods and streets of this city,” Chico said. “I’ve brought community policing to Chicago and made Chicago Public Schools a model for the nation. I’ve done this before, and as mayor I’ll do it again.”
The forum also included Lori Lightfoot, Susana Mendoza, Toni Preckwinkle, Bill Daley, Amara Enyia, Paul Vallas and Willie Wilson.
Solving the city’s finances was a topic that was also addressed by each candidate, but it was Chico who showed that he has what it takes to tackle the issue.
“I’ve had the privilege of balancing about 20 budgets and none of them were easy,” Chico said. “Over the last six years, the average deficit in Chicago has been around $350 million. There are three ways to generate revenue — end the corrupt commercial property tax assessment system, implement a one percent tax on million-dollar home sales, and close the Treasurer’s and Clerk’s offices. It’s not impossible. We can do this.”
Chico also laid out his plan for public safety, which includes following the Consent Decree, adding 300 detectives and changing leadership. But he told the crowd that it includes even more.
“The legacy of segregation in Chicago needs to be healed,” Chico said. “I have a plan for dramatic development in parts of the city that will bring jobs. I will invest in vocational and technical programs, and work with groups like Safe Haven to make the streets safe again.”
For more about Chico’s platform on the issues, visit www.chicoformayor.com